A lot has changed in radio over the last few years. Z has been a pioneer since the station’s conception. HD Radio is one such example. I won’t attempt to explain HD radio here. I would look like a poser and the true audio geeks would rain down on my misuse of all the esoterica. From an end user perspective, HD radio is pretty cool. A frequency, such as 102.9 (through the miracles of modern science) can be split into a number of multicast channels.
Early on, as Z experimented with how to split the frequency into several multicasts, Basler Design was, at the same time, experimenting with how to “split” the Z identity into three sub brands. This seems easy on the surface, but it is actually quite challenging. The mother brand Z102.9 had legs, with great awareness. And this awareness was directly tied back to a station format (Contemporary Hit Radio), which in turn attracted a specific listener. Now, under the new HD multicast structure, Z102.9, the Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) format is now 102.9 HD1. 102.9 HD2 could be an entirely different format, such as Classic Rock, and attract an entirely different listener. And, likewise, 102.9 HD3 could be a third format with a third listening demographic.
Whew. This is a real challenge. The examples below were experiments in this brand extension exercise. To date, these have not been used, but they are pretty interesting given this branding puzzle.